Poll panel asks states to gear up for Lok Sabha elections

February 6th, 2009 - 12:33 am ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 5 (IANS) Ahead of the Lok Sabha polls likely to be held in April-May, the Election Commission Thursday asked state governments to transfer all officials posted at one place for more than three years or those deputed in their home districts. The commission met chief secretaries and directors-general of police of all states and union territories to review the election preparedness and the security arrangements for free and fair conduct of elections, an official statement said.

“The commission directed that no efforts should be spared to conduct free and fair elections… and compliance report sent by Feb 28,” the statement said.

The commission also directed that all critical posts be filled up on priority basis by Feb 20.

The chief secretaries and police officials put forth their views on the schedule and phasing of elections, security force requirements and other logistics including the requirement of choppers, speed boats and satellite phones, the statement said.

The commission directed them to make adequate budget provisions, strengthen the chief electoral officer’s office and identify a nodal officer to coordinate the movement and logistics of the additional forces that would be deployed from outside into the states.

The police officials were asked to make adequate advance arrangements for the forces that would be inducted from outside.

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